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Wildcats no match for BHS boys team
The cheer started low, maybe only one or two voices, but was soon taken up by many in the crowd of students and fans.
“Sail home safely! Sail home safely!”
It was good advice which the West Seattle Wildcats, having just been defeated 50-40 by the Bainbridge High varsity boys basketball team, were smart enough to take.
The victory, the first of the Spartan postseason, comes on the tail end of the enthusiasm resulting from the team’s 64-44 win against Lakeside High during the final game of the regular season Friday, Feb. 7.
Bainbridge remains listed in the second place spot in the Metro Sound Division with a 8-7 conference record and a 13-8 overall season record.
Rainier Beach remains in the top position with an overall season record of 21-0.
Spartan Head Coach Scott Orness is cautiously optimistic. He said that while he is proud of the guys, it may be too early yet to say that the Spartans are on a roll.
“We’re just taking it one game at a time,” he said. “Whoever our next opponent is, that’s our biggest game. [We’re] not looking back from that, not looking forward, and I feel that our guys are really buying into our game plan and executing it.”
Orness said that learning to deal with West Seattle’s obvious offensive leader, DeAndre Love, was critical for the win to happen.
“Tonight was all about when [Love] got the basketball, we were helped big time by not letting him get to the rack,” Orness said. “I thought we did a good job limiting his shots.”
Despite the extra Spartan attention, Love went on to be the top points earner for West Seattle and finished the game with 10.
Bainbridge powerhouse Oskar Dieterich came away with the top offensive performance of the night, scoring 18 points.
Senior guard Joey Blacker added a total of 14 points and Trent Schulte managed 11 points.
BHS pulled ahead early in the game and finished the first quarter leading 11-9. They began to trail, however, almost immediately in the second and it would remain the only quarter in which the Spartans did not outscore the Wildcats.
The return from halftime saw the Spartans rejuvenated and eager to play. They would finish with a third quarter score lead of 14-9 (35-29 total).
Orness said that the win was a critical one to guarantee that Bainbridge had every advantage moving forward in the postseason.
“The biggest part about this win is that it gives us a home court advantage in the first round of the district tournament on Saturday,” he explained. “We knew this win was important and I thought we accomplished our goal.”
The coach said the mood in the postseason Spartan locker room was a little more serious than the regular season.
“I don’t know if I’d say more tense, but [it’s] more business-like,” he said. “The guys understand how big the game is. I don’t feel like we’re playing tight. I felt like in the first half everyone was trying to make the game happen. We had to just kind of make the extra pass, play unselfishly, like we have all season. And the guys really did that in the second half.”
The Spartans played their next postseason game Thursday, Feb. 13 on the road against Seattle Preparatory. Results were unavailable at the time the Review went to press.
The team will return to play the first round of the SeaKing District Tournament at home 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 against an opponent to be decided by the outcome of Thursday’s game.
According to Orness, if the Spartans win against Seattle Prep, they will enter Saturday’s loser-out game in fifth place in the Metro League and they will play either Nathan Hale or West Seattle.
Should they lose, they will enter in sixth place in the Metro and will play either Interlake or Liberty High.